Winter Themes & Motifs

Ali Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 68 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Winter.
This section contains 3,504 words
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Memory

The unreliability of memory is a central theme in Winter, and throughout the novel memories are distorted for many reasons, from nostalgia to denial. Winter is introduced with five quotes, one of which is by the writer Muriel Spark: “We have entered the realm of mythology” (1). This is the first introduction to the theme of memory, which is depicted less as an accurate recollection of the past and more as a kind of personal mythology. While each character believes that their memories are the truth, the influence of nostalgia and their difficulties with empathizing with others alters their images of the past. This creates conflicts within the Cleves family, particularly between sisters Sophia and Iris, and only by accepting the fragile, ethereal nature of memory can they begin to resolve this tension.

Much of the novel takes the form of Sophia’s flashbacks, which come over...

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This section contains 3,504 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Winter Study Guide
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